Artist: Arch Enemy
Album: War Eternal
It’s never easy for a band to lose one of their members, for whatever reason. This is especially true with changing vocalists. The heir/heiress to their throne has to step their game up on many fronts to make sure that they properly fill the shoes of their predecessor, as well as bring their own flavor to the band so as not to be a copy. When I heard that Arch Enemy’s metal goddess, Angela Gossow, would be leaving Arch Enemy to pursue other facets of life, I was probably about as heartbroken as all the die-hard fans out there. When I heard that the beast incarnate would be Alissa White-Gluz, though, I was incredibly uplifted. Being a fan of her former band, The Agonist (now fronted by Vicky Psarakis), I knew that the band had not taken this choice lightly. That same day, the band released the title track of their upcoming album, War Eternal, I knew that this would be an incredible new chapter for the band. While the long-lived reign of Gossow will always sit high atop the metal world, Alissa’s entrance to the throne will be sure to knock those who would doubt her flat on their backs!
Upon my first listen of War Eternal, I had no idea what to expect. Those who have followed White-Gluz’s previous band will know that she has a completely different writing style, but that when it comes to metal, there are few out there who know it better. As this album roars to a start, we are met with the haunting intro that is “Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude in F Minor)”, signaling the beginning of what may feel to some as a doomsday record. When White-Gluz explodes into the first verse of the record, you immediately begin to feel a sudden charge of energy, such is her effect on the listener but it’s completely a different and more captivating air with seasoned vets Michael Amott, Sharlee D’Angelo and Daniel Erlandsson backing her up. Little did I know that I was in for the ride of my life with this album. Not only do new guitarist Nick Cordle and founding guitarist, Michael Amott perfectly compliment one another but the band as a whole is completely on-point throughout. With tracks like the title track, “As The Pages Burn” and “You Will Know My Name” (all released prior to the album itself) you get a taste of just how well this band meshes together.
What you have not had the chance to experience yet, though, are tracks like “Never Forgive, Never Forget”, “No More Regrets”, “Stolen Life” and, one of my favorite tracks on the album, “Time Is Black” where every part stands out, not as if trying to outshine one another, but so as to compliment their counterparts. This album is probably one of the heaviest, most impressive in the band’s entire career and is sure to turn some heads. From the lyrics and arrangements, to the instrumentals, the production, the artwork and the concept of the album… it’s already standing high atop my album of the year list with NO chance of being knocked down any time soon!
Instrumentally, this album could not be more flawless. Every riff, be it solo, lead or rhythm is absolutely perfectly executed. The drums remain on time, throughout the album… never missing a beat. The bass serves as a strong backbone, without which the album would fall apart and it ALL compliments Alissa’s incredible beast-like growls, making the album truly roar to life.
Put simply, whether you’re a fan of Arch Enemy, White-Gluz or never even HEARD the band prior to War Eternal, if you’re a fan of true metal, you will enjoy this record. Check out the videos for the title track and “You Will Know My Name”, as well as the lyric video for “As the Pages Burn” below and pre-order the album while supplies still last! This is sure to go down as one of the best albums of the decade (and I don’t take that statement lightly)! It will be out on Century Media, June 4th in Japan, June 9th in Europe and June 10th in the US!
“War Eternal” (Official Music Video)
“As The Pages Burn” (Official Lyric Video)”
“You Will Know My Name” (Official Music Video)